Stop wasting time when preparing your energy budget

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Blondinrikard Fröberg "Half past five"

This budget season, use your building's utility data and big data analytics to prep a smart energy budget at the click of a button.

First things first… all energy budgets are wrong. But that doesn’t mean they are all created equal, nor that they are all equally wrong. And some budgeting processes take much longer than others. But there is still hope for this budget season to get a sophisticated energy budget done quickly: it’s built on interval meter data, big data analytics, and simple software.

Billcast

Gridium’s survey results show that most building operators use either straightline projections or an average of trailing years. Straightline is the plainest of budgeting techniques: copy over the prior year’s figures and add a percentage increase to account for anticipated changes in utility rates. The average method is a touch more advanced, as the averaging smoothes out some year-on-year fluctuations. As we’ve explored before, the straightline method falls short on accounting for changes in weather (2014 was the hottest year on record), utility rates, and operations.

A popular 2008 study by the University of Hawaii found that 88% of spreadsheets contain errors!

Both methods require a good bit of time and, typically, some Microsoft Excel jujitsu. And it turns out most Excel sheets have one thing in common (errors).

Gridium’s Billcast software quantifies the causes of monthly bill variance–year over year–across weather, billing cycle length, utility rate, and operational factors. This means you’ll know whether or not a change in the bill was driven by factors within, or outside, of your team’s control. Billcast also aggregates utility bills all in one place, and it emails a summary and variance explanation whenever a new utility bill is posted online. And it automatically calculates a rolling, month by month budget that accounts for a variety of weather scenarios, building operating hours, calendar effects, holidays, and other factors affecting forecast accuracy. Monthly drill-downs are also available:

Billcast

A best-in-class energy budget, driven by a statistical model built specifically with your building’s interval data and local weather data, is available at the click of a button (no hardware for the mechanical room nor software for the BMS needed). If you’re pressed for time this budget season, we can help. Send us an email and we’ll happily schedule a tour of the software and share details on a no-commitment free trial.

About Millen Paschich

Millen began his career at Cambridge Associates, trained in finance at SMU, and has an MBA from UCLA. Talk to him about bicycling, business, and green chile burritos.

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